The Democratic governor of Louisiana signaled that he would support a pro-life heartbeat bill making its way through the state legislature where he once served, breaking from his party as more states adopt stricter abortion laws, CNN reported Saturday.
During a press conference, Governor John Bel Edwards (D-La.) cued that he would support the pro-life bill — Senate Bill 184 — going through the state legislature, breaking from his party and saying that he would stay “consistent” with his previous pro-life stances.
“My position hasn’t changed. In eight years in the Legislature, I was a pro-life legislator. When I ran for governor, I said that I was pro-life. And so that’s something that’s consistent.”
He also stated that he believed that the “people of Louisiana are overwhelmingly pro-life.”
Edwards’s spokeswoman, Christina Stephens, confirmed to CNN that the governor was “inclined” to sign the bill should it come to his desk.
“He’s said he’s inclined to sign it,” said Stephens. “Certainly, he wants to see the final bill first. This is very much in line with his previous pro-life votes and actions.”
The bill would make abortions illegal once a heartbeat is detected in an unborn child and is similar to the measures passed in Ohio, Missouri, and a few other states. It passed the Louisiana state House of Representatives and Senate committees with bipartisan support on Wednesday.
If the law were enacted, doctors who perform the procedures would face jail time of up to two years or $1,000.
The legislation provides exemptions to stop the death of the mother or “serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”
On Friday, the lower chamber of the Missouri state legislature passed a pro-life bill that would make getting abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy illegal. The measure comes after the Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) signed into law the most restrictive abortion legislation in the U.S.